Tag Archives: research

Citation milestone!

Do you know when you don’t look at your paper citations for a while, then you do, and think ‘wow I had no idea I had reached this huge milestone at some point this year?’

I hadn’t checked my Google Scholar profile for a few months, and during that time my citations shot up to over 100 (as of this writing, I’m cited in 104 places).

I’m cracking open a bottle of champagne (ok, sparkling wine) this evening to celebrate.

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Dissertation Research Ahoy! (a.k.a. Ernestine Rose and the Harlem Public Library: Theory Testing using Historical Sources)

I’ve been talking a lot about my dissertation lately (surprise), and wanted to go ahead and stick a quick run down of what I’m doing here too. I’m very excited about the work I’m doing, and I would love to hear your feedback! I’m also happy to share my documentation and talk more about my process with anyone who is interested. 

What is this project about?

I started thinking about this topic after being encouraged to look at Ernestine Rose by one of my mentors. The project has evolved over time, and while her career is still the jumping off point, I’m now focusing on her work at the Harlem Public Library in particular. She was at this library from 1920-1942. There are a handful of articles in our field that argue that Rose helped make the library into an innovative community space and an integral part of the Harlem Renaissance (e.g. Anderson, 2003; Jenkins, 1990). While she initially worked to integrate the library by hiring people of color, there are some indications that she dampened her support for the advancement and inclusion of these same folks later on in their careers (Whitmire 2007, 2014).

I’m using the documents held in several New York City repositories (New York Public Library’s 42nd Street Branch and Schomburg Center, Columbia University archives, and New York Municipal Archives) that relate to the library to describe the library, and also to test two theories (more on why that matters later). There are a couple challenges/considerations that I want to mention right off the bat. My research is very context-heavy, so it’s vital for me to describe that context and how the library fits within it, rather than describing the library as though it exists in a vacuum. Equally as important is discussing the role of other people besides Rose within the library. While my focus is on her career, I don’t want to risk overshadowing the contributions of others by only talking about her. 

Why does it matter?

There are several big reasons (in my opinion) why this project is important. First of all, most of what’s out there focuses on the library’s role in the Harlem Renaissance, where became a well-known center for events and a place where authors often went to write (Anderson, 2003; Jenkins, 1990). There is not a lot of information currently about the library during the Great Depression and the beginning years of World Way II, both of which would have presumably had a big impact on the library. In addition, no one has thoroughly discussed her work and the library within the broader context of New York City, the New York Public Library system, or society as a whole throughout this 22 year period.

Additionally, no one has applied the two theoretical frameworks I’m using to historical research. The first of these is a framework I’m developing to analyze change (called, appropriately, Change in Historic Institutions). I’ve made a model of this, and plan to share the model in a more detailed post later on, but for now I’ll just focus on the broad concepts. This model focuses on identifying change, discussing whether that change is innovative or adaptive, and its impact and perceptions. Second, I’m looking at Information Worlds, which envisions actors within the variety of contexts they navigate, and uses five concepts (Information value, information behavior, social norms, social types, and boundaries) to describe those worlds and the interaction between them.  Both theories are very broad and adaptable, and very context-focused, making them appropriate for this study. These are drastically oversimplified discussions of both theories, so if you have questions, I’m happy to go into further detail! 

Finally, I think this work has the potential to be used by professionals in public library settings. When she was working in Harlem, Ernestine Rose had already had some experience in her career (she was about 40 when she took the job), and would have needed to draw on this experience while remaining adaptable and flexible to meet the needs of a quickly changing neighborhood. Her employees also faced discrimination from the library system, and used their own experiences to make the library a dynamic and community-oriented place. The story of Rose and the library as a whole might offer some useful ideas for modern librarians on what to do (and perhaps what not to do) in their own institutions. 

 

References for your reading pleasure:

Anderson, S. A. (2003). “The Place to Go”: The 135th Street Branch Library and the Harlem Renaissance. Library Quarterly, 73(4): 383–421.

Jenkins, B. L. (1990). A White Librarian in Black Harlem: Study to Chronicle and Assess Ernestine Rose’s Work during the Renaissance in Harlem. Library Quarterly 60, 216–231.

Whitmire, E. (2007). Breaking the Color Barrier: Regina Andrews and the New York Public Library. Libraries & the Cultural Record, 42(4), 409–421.

Whitmire, E. (2014). Regina Andrews, Harlem Renaissance Librarian. Urbana-Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press.

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#FSUSLIS Colloquia

We’ve had four great job talks for our social media faculty position recently. I missed the first two unfortunately (although I got to watch the webcasts!), but I did tweet the second two:

Last week, Jae-Wook Ahn presented on data analysis and social media. I drove him from the airport, and really enjoyed talking with him about his work. He has some really great ideas about how to combine qualitative and quantitative analysis.

Today, Seungwon Yang presented about social media and disasters, which is extra awesome because he does a CS-based approach that I think is a great compliment to the qualitative content analysis my co-researchers and myself have been doing of disaster tweets. He also talked about Twitter and revolution, which is something I’ve published research on too!

 

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Sexual Assault Survivors and Libraries-Can We Do More?

I have been spending this semester writing research methods papers on how we can study the information seeking behavior/needs of sexual assault survivors and/or the experience of survivors in the library. I am excited that I get to turn one of these (and hopefully more than one) into an actual study this summer, but it’s made me very aware of how little there is out there dealing with this issue. There aren’t any studies that look at survivors’ needs or experiences, and only one that discusses the issue at all. Since I won’t be doing my research until this summer, I thought I’d take this opportunity to share a few thoughts I’ve been having about some simple ways we could improve library services now. I’ve taken these from my own experiences of looking for information and interacting with people during the earlier stages of my healing process, and from my understanding of research in social sciences as a whole. I would really love to hear from practitioners too–what are you doing at your library? What do you want to do? What barriers do you see to implementing changes (if any)? So here are my ideas, add your thoughts in the comments!

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Funding Opportunities, Week of October 23

Here are the funding resources I have found this week–in addition to the usual travel grants and such, I have found some funding resources for those in the life sciences that I’ve included.

Support for Faculty/Postdocs
UC San Diego Academic Senate Research Support: For members and those working with members.
CV Starr Center Fellowships: For those writing book-length manuscripts on the Revolutionary war and founding ideals.
McNickle Fellowship: At the Newberry Library; for American Indian Studies.
Postdoctoral Fellowships in Japanese Studies: For recent PhDs to turn their dissertations into publishable manuscripts.
CLIR Fellowships: Postdoctoral fellowships in academic libraries.

Travel Grants for On-Site Research and Conference Attendance
3M/NMRT Travel Grant: For those attending the American Library Association Annual Conference.
Anne S. Brown Military Collection: Travel grants for researchers, artists, and writers to use the collection.
Cushwa Center for Study of American Catholicism: Grants for use of the center’s collections.
Visiting Fellowships: At the Houghton Library (rare books and manuscripts library at Harvard).
Norberg Travel Fund: For those studying the history of information technology to visit the Babbage Institute.

Humanities, Technology, and Social Sciences
Program on US-Japan Relations: Associates (scholars, businesspeople, journalists, etc.) from Japan and the U.S. Also have research fellowships available for faculty.
Methodology, Management, and Statistics: Grants for the development of analytical and statistical methods.
Smithsonian Fellowships: Predoctoral/Graduate and Postdoctoral.
Harry S. Truman Library: Grants for researchers and for those writing dissertations on Truman.
Allen Fellowship: To support the work of women of Native American heritage.
Advanced Simulation and Training Fellowships: For dissertation research; students must be in school in the U.S. or Canada but there seem to be no citizenship restrictions.
Visiting Fellowships: Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies.
Fellowships: Institute for French-American Studies.
Rediscovering Afghanistan: Funding for projects focusing on Afghanistan’s history and culture.
Arts
Individual Artist Fellowships: For artists in New Hampshire.
Art Apprenticeship Program: For Idaho residents to learn as apprentices to other artists.

Scholarships/Fellowships
United Negro College Fund: Scholarships for students at participating universities.
Dolores Liebman Fund: For graduate studies at select schools.
Folklore Fellowships: For newly-admitted graduate students at Utah State. The website says 2009, but the e-mail I got says they are offering it again. I’d be happy to forward it to anyone who is interested.

Life and Natural Sciences
Mote Marine Lab Internships: For college students (undergrad or grad) and recent graduates.
High Altitude Observatory Scientific Visitors: For collaborative projects at HAO in Boulder, CO (my home town!)
Summer Undergraduate Internships: At the High Altitude Observatory.
Awards in Tropical Botany: For PhD students.
Postdocs Applying Climate Expertise: Postdoc opportunities at UCAR.
Student Membership Awards: The American Ornithologists’ Union.
Research Awards: From the Marine Biological Institute.

International Opportunities and Opportunities for non-US residents:
Japan-Language Education Overseas: Covers costs for educators teaching the Japanese language outside of Japan to travel to the country for training. There are a number of opportunities for training through the Japan Foundation.
Max Planck Institute for the History of Science: Postdoctoral and dissertation fellowships.
International Development Research Centre: Visiting Fellowships available for faculty. Other pages on the site have information about funding for graduate students and other scholars from Canada and developing countries.
Japan Outreach Initiative Coordinators: For Japanese nationals to work in the U.S.
Terra Summer Residency: For the study of art and visual culture in America. Residencies take place in Giverny, France.
Goldmann Fellowship Program: For those studying Jewish culture.
Terra travel grants: For those outside the US to come to the country to study American art.
Short-Term Travel Grants: For those studying Central Asia, the Caucuses, and Balkans.

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Staying Informed, One Listserv at a Time

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything besides funding updates (grad school will do that to you!) but I have been wanting to post something on listservs for a while. I’m of the opinion that listservs are a stellar way to stay informed about the field, learn about funding and conferences, and more. In fact, several of the publications I’ve been involved in were ones I learned about through listservs. This is especially great for students and new professionals, who are still feeling out their place in the field and want to learn from others. They are also great for anyone who wants to keep up to date on funding opportunities and calls for papers (two of my big focuses right now!)
Below is my “list of lists”–websites that you can go to and sign up for listservs that interest you. Since my focus is in LIS, Social Sciences, and the Humanities, that’s where I have focused my attention–if you know of a similar site I haven’t included, feel free to add it!

ALA Mailing List Service: All the listservs run through the American Library Association. I am an ALA member, but it looks like non-members can sign up too. Just follow the instructions when you hit ‘subscribe.’ After you complete the steps the first time, your e-mail address will be subscribed to other lists with one click.

H-Net Discussion Networks: H-Net (Humanities and Social Sciences online) is an awesome resource. They have calls for participation, conference alerts, and a heaping helping of listservs spanning just about every interest. By adding yourself to the lists you are most interested in, you’ll get updates from H-Net (which is very extensive and daunting to browse through) that are relevant to your chosen topics.

Conference Alerts: Most people I know haven’t heard of this one, which makes me feel like I am sharing some great secret with them. This site is incredible–it lists conferences from all over the world and across disciplines. You can search by country or topic. You can also sign up for e-mail alerts that you can customize to include whatever topics you want and whatever countries you want (I have mine set to tell me about conferences in all countries.) Then you’ll get occasional e-mails with a list of upcoming conferences that meet your criteria. I like to browse the list not only to find what conferences I might attend, but also to see if any of my current projects might fit into a call for papers.

WikiCFP: A resource for calls for papers in science and technology. You can sign up for an account, and create your own list of topics you want CFPs for. They also alert followers to new CFPs on Twitter (@WikiCFP.)

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Funding Opportunities-Week of September 25

It’s time for my third installment of this funding opportunities post. Last week’s post was updated a couple times during the week, and I hope to keep doing that each week as more information about funding trickles in. I’ve decided to try something different this week and divide things up by discipline (where applicable.) Some of the awards are across disciplines, so those I’m still going to categorize by professional position. I’d like input on how it’s most helpful to lay these things out, so if you have ideas please share! Happy hunting!

Library and Information Studies:
Melvil Dewey Medal: An award for leadership in LIS in the areas Dewey was most interested in.
Beatrice E. Griggs scholarship: For an MLS student pursuing a school library media certificate.
Zora Neale Hurston Award: For those who help promote African-American literature and serve diverse populations.
Charlie Robinson Award: Given to a public library director who, over a 7 year period, has taken risks and been an innovator.
Louis Shores award: For excellence in reviewing books and other media.
Baker & Taylor/YALSA Conference Grants: For first-time conference attendance for those who work directly with young adults.
Isadora Gilbert Mudge award: For distinguished contributions to reference librarianship.
Ken Haycock Award: For promoting appreciation of the field of librarianship.
Genealogical Publishing Company Award: For librarians who have worked to improve genealogical services.
Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award: For someone who has made a significant contribution to instruction in a college/research library.
Routledge Distance Learning Librarianship Award: For those working in distance learning; helps cover costs to attend ALA Annual conference.
Paul Howard Award for Courage: For an LIS professional who displays great courage to further the interests of their institution or field.

Political Science:
CSDP Visiting Scholars: For a fellowship at the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics.

History/American Studies:
The Roosevelt Institute: Includes a list of awards, including grants-in-aid for those studying the Roosevelt years.
Anschutz Fellowship: For someone within or outside of academia to teach American Studies an participate in life at Princeton.
Venetian Research Program publication assistance: For those who have had a work accepted for publication on the subject of Venetian history and culture.
American School of Classical Studies at Athens: Funding opportunities for those studying Classics, History, and Greek Law to conduct research in Athens.
World War One Digital Content Prioritization (UK): In advance of the 100th anniversary of the conflict, this is for professionals and organizations involved in preserving WWI history in digital form.
Leo Baeck Institute DAAD Fellowship: To study the history and culture of German-speaking Jews.

Science and Technology:
ITEEA Academy of Fellows: For the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association.
F-Paris Computer Services Contract (France): Call for proposals to develop training in computer services.
Lancaster University Marie Curie Fellowships: For health services-related interfaces.

Internships/Fellowships:
JASWDC Internships: For Japan-America Society of Washington, D.C.
Postdoctoral Fellowships for Faculty Diversity: Offered through several partner schools.
The Society of the Cincinnati: Fellowships and internships for the library and museum.
Barra PostDoctoral Fellowship: For early (pre-1850) American studies. Includes stipend, insurance, and office space. Deadline November 1st.

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